The Explorer: Looking for an Adventure
Close to half the Explorers move abroad because they’re looking for an adventure (47%), followed by 28 percent who wanted to live in a particular city or country and one-quarter (25%) who simply enjoys living abroad. “I enjoy living abroad, exploring the local culture, and the travel opportunities it brings,” a US American expat living in China explains, while a Dutch expat in Poland appreciates the “experience of living abroad” in general.
Explorers seem to find it easy to settle down in their new country of residence, with almost three-quarters (73%) feeling at home there. This is nine percentage points more than the global average (64%), and a share beaten just slightly by the Optimizers (74%). Maybe this is due to the fact that the majority of Explorers (68%) finds it easy to make new friends abroad, which isn’t only far above the global average (57%), but also the highest share among all seven expat types. “Meeting people and having friends is very important for me,” a Canadian expat living in Germany says.
Generally, Explorers perceive the local residents’ attitude towards them positively, and 75 percent are satisfied with this factor (vs. 66% globally). In addition to that, they have the highest share of respondents satisfied with their own socializing and leisure activities abroad (76%), compared to 66 percent worldwide. “I just love Vienna. It's a beautiful city, relaxed, and with more than enough to do and see,” says a British expat who moved abroad looking for an adventure.
Aside from making friends, it seems like a good work-life balance is important to the Explorer. Explorers with a full-time job (82%) spend about 1.6 hours less at work than the global average (42.4 h per week vs. 44.0 h). In fact, nearly seven in ten (68%) are happy with their work-life balance, compared to 61 percent globally. Together with the Optimizer, the Explorers have the highest share respondents satisfied with their work-life balance abroad. However, their satisfaction with career prospects (59%) and job security (64%) is not that far from the global average (55% and 59%, respectively). Lastly, many Explorers also express only average satisfaction with their job in general (67% vs. 65% globally).
But as the social aspects of living abroad play a more important role for the Explorers, more than four in five (82%) are still happy with their life abroad. This is just one percentage point below the Optimizer (83%) — who is the happiest of all expat types — and seven percentage points above the global average (75%).